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September 25th, 2013 12:01 am WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs

Murmurs: It’s 11 AM. Do You Know Where Your Inspector Is?

  • Employees of KOIN-TV Channel 6 are planning to rally at the downtown offices of the local CBS affiliate Sept. 25 to protest what they say is an effort by new corporate owners to bust their union. Representative Kathleen McCarthy says the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians Local 51’s contract expired two months ago, and already Rhode Island-based LIN Media has moved seven union control-room jobs to Indiana, a right-to-work state. (The contract covers 50 photographers, editors, news assignment-desk personnel and directors, among other jobs.) McCarthy says the company is also trying to end paycheck deductions for union dues and require news crews be on-call weekends without pay. “We’d like them to come around, treat their people better, and bargain a decent contract,” McCarthy says. KOIN station manager Tim Perry says management has met with the union multiple times. “LIN Media continues to advance proposals intended to assist KOIN-TV in adapting to the changing media industry and producing market-leading content,” Perry tells WW in an email.
  • When the Cascade AIDS Project held its annual AIDS walk last weekend, one notable face was missing—CAP executive director Glen Gilbert. Gilbert, a veteran nonprofit executive, was hired to lead CAP in April but was placed on leave Sept. 12 by the group’s board after he returned from the annual U.S. AIDS conference in New Orleans. CAP spokesman Peter Parisot confirms Gilbert is on leave but declined to give details. Gilbert’s salary at the $6-million-a-year nonprofit is around $135,000 a year. Gilbert was last in the news when he spoke up for embattled Multnomah County Chairman Jeff Cogen. Gilbert defended Cogen during a July 24 hearing, where county commissioners  passed a resolution calling for Cogen to resign after details of his affair with a county employee became public. CAP gets nearly $1 million a year from the county. Gilbert didn’t respond to WW’s calls.
  • Do you know what Portland’s construction inspectors do on the job? A new city audit says their employer, the Bureau of Development Services, has no idea, either. WW reported earlier this year that the bureau suspended four commercial electrical inspectors and fired one after an investigation found they routinely enjoyed long brunches on city time at a Northwest Industrial District diner (Murmurs, WW, April 10, 2013). City Auditor LaVonne Griffin-Valade says the lack of oversight is widespread. The bureau, her new audit says, “provides little supervision” and has “limited knowledge of how each inspector spent the day.” The audit also dings the bureau for not rotating inspectors through different parts of town and not conducting annual performance reviews. City Commissioner Amanda Fritz, who oversees the bureau, promises changes soon.
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